Changes in bone in a model of spinal cord injury

Authors

  • Esther L. Hill,

    1. The Miami Project, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
    2. Departments of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
    Current affiliation:
    1. Institute of Molecular Biology, Worcester, MA 01605, U.S.A.
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  • R. Bruce Martin,

    1. Orthopaedic Research Laboratory, University of California-Davis, Davis, U.S.A.
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  • Elizabeth Gunther,

    1. The Miami Project, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Biology, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33181, U.S.A.
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  • Emily Morey-Holton,

    1. NASA, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, U.S.A.
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  • Dr. Vicky R. Holets

    Corresponding author
    1. Departments of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
    2. Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
    • The Miami Project, University of Miami School of Medicine, 1600 N.W. 10th Avenue (R-48), Miami, FL 33136, U.S.A.
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Abstract

Bone calcium, histomorphometry, and mechanical strength were evaluated in a model of spinal cord injury. Cortical bone area and rates of formation and apposition at the tibiofibular junction (TFJ) and midshaft of the humerus were measured at 35–42, 42–77, and 77–94 days after transection of the spinal cord. All comparisons were between the animals with a spinal lesion and control animals. A 0.34% difference in the length of the tibia of the two groups of animals was observed, the dry weight of the tibia was 28.4% less in rats with a lesion, and there was no significant difference in the amount of calcium per milligram of bone. At 35 days after surgery, the cortical area in the midshaft of the humerus was slightly less (11%) in rats with a lesion, but by 94 days there was no difference in cortical or medullary area. The final (day 94) cortical area at the TFJ in rats with a lesion was less than that in the controls. Bone formation at the TFJ was similar in both groups in the period of 35–42 days and was similar at 77–94 days in the animals with a lesion, and rates of formation and apposition were greater in the humerus of rats with a lesion; the rates did not differ significantly between groups at either site. At 94 days, trabecular bone area in the tibial metaphysis was 41% less in rats with a lesion. Mechanical parameters were significantly less in the femora, but not the humeri, of rats with a lesion.

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